Perils of gardening with chemicals

Reader writes there are many non-toxic alternatives to pesticides and herbicides

Spring has sprung so it must be time for my yearly letter to the Sooke News Mirror on the perils of gardening with chemicals.

Pesticides have been around for 70 years, yet weeds, pests and diseases that attack plants have, if anything, become worse because they have become resistant to all these chemicals, much like the bacterial “super bugs” have become resistant to antibiotics (do we see a pattern here?).

This means you have to spray more often using more toxic chemicals every year. Pesticides and herbicides/fungicides are responsible for adding extra estrogen-like chemicals to our bodies. Many cause gene mutations or are neuro (brain) toxins.

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, once touted as safe because it kills bacteria, not humans, has been shown to be anything but, considering that we are 90 per cent bacteria.

The bacteria that reside in our guts, in the lining all of our mucous membranes and on our skin are our first line of defense against pathogens. They protect our brain from toxins and facilitate uptake of nutrients from our food.

Glyphosate is also deadly to the bacteria in the soil. Soil bacteria keep the soil free of pathogens such as e-coli and are necessary for the uptake of minerals into crops.

When you put these chemicals on your lawn, everyone, including pets, neighbors gathered for a barbecue and little children running around are exposing themselves to serious toxins. All it takes are minute amounts (especially in children) to disrupt the delicate balance of the body.

There are many non-toxic alternatives to pesticides and herbicides available and myriads of websites, books and farmers in the community that can teach us about them. Not using household pesticides is a personal decision that can make a big difference in the increasingly heavy toxin burden we all face.

Jo Phillips

Otter Point

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